March 16th, 2014 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Both Sauber drivers made it to the end of the Australian Grand Prix, but neither had the pace to fight for top ten positions. In addition, both drivers were lapped by race winner Nico Rosberg, underlining the lack of pace in the Sauber C33 around the Albert Park circuit. The team viewed the double finish as a positive, but noted the need to improve the pace of the car in order to become more competitive.
Adrian Sutil spent a fair amount of time in the points during the race, but was ultimately unable to hold onto a points position. He brought his Sauber home in 12th place, but was promoted to 11th when Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was disqualified for a fuel infringement.
Esteban Gutierrez was 13th at the chequered flag, which became 12th after the stewards excluded Ricciardo. The two Sauber drivers finished just six seconds apart despite running different tyre strategies during the race.
Here's what the drivers had to say after the Australian Grand Prix:
Esteban Gutiérrez: “It was a different kind of racing today, but definitely something we take as a reference. In general we are missing speed and it’s a challenge to be able to compete at the front like this. As a team, we need to make sure we put everything together because the lack of speed we have on the straight is quite significant. However, we can be very happy that we both finished the race today. This means a step forward for the team and its reliability.”
Adrian Sutil: “It was an exciting race, and especially the start, but luckily I went through without any incidents. We had a few issues with the powertrain during the first stint, but after the pit stop that improved. Nevertheless this cost us a lot of time that we couldn’t recover. I was on a two stop strategy, but we switched to a one stop because of the safety car. This could have worked well, but the safety car phase didn’t help us. In addition we were simply too slow, but we managed to finish the race, which was our goal.
"We came close to the points, but we need to improve our speed. There is a lot of data now to analyse and we can only improve. I hope that we will progress quickly.”